28 September 2008

That was the day that was

If you haven't done this yet, please go and do it (no registration required - just ONE CLICK!): This man, a former firefighter needs help.

Please click on the link above and click "like it" next to the number of votes so that he can win a $5000 tech makeover to get some adaptive technology that will help him use the computer. I don't know him but I would love to see him get the help he needs.

And pass it on! Thanks.


No grocery shopping with Dad today. I got to the folks' house and trouble was in the air.

Dad was so upset he wasn't speaking to anyone. I got there and he immediately went over and began poking at buttons on the phone.

"What's up?" I asked Mom.

"He can't see," she whispered. "He's trying to get in touch with the doctor."

I could have told him that the doctor was not going to be in on Sunday at 8:30 a.m. , but he was already upset enough.

Dad is a veteran of five eye operations. It began in 1983 when he tore a retina and because we were on vacation 500 miles from home, opted not to tell anyone for four days while he piloted a 30 foot RV carrying his wife, two daughters and a baby granddaughter down country roads, peering out of just one eye.

(People, when your retina tears, time is of the essence. So if a dark curtain ever descends over one eye or part of one eye, head for the eye doc or ER. Do NOT continue camping).

At 90, he has one "good" eye (not very good) and one "bad" eye (f***ing blind) and when he awoke today, the good eye wasn't working.

After much prying and prodding and roundabout answering, the truth came out: he hadn't been using his eye drops since he ran out and was waiting for the to come in the mail. He could have gotten some from the local pharmacy but he had told them to shove it when their prices were higher than the mail-order and he couldn't understand why.

So, without the necessary meds, his body began trying to kick out one of his corneal implants.

(Insert sounds of screaming here).

$115, an hour at the pharmacy and a long, convoluted phone call to an on-call eye doctor (I got on and had to try to pry information out of him while talking to her - "Dad, when was your last eye operation?" "Oh, damn it, I can't remember..."), we had three prescriptions and his promise to see his regular eye doc asap Monday.

This aging parent stuff is scary, people. I am not quite sure I will survive. I mean, you hear phrases like "the problems of the elderly," and it sounds like Charlie Brown adult language - wah WAH wah wah" but then it is there right in your face - ailments, dementia, memory problems, Medicare, pharmacy benefits that are too complicated to understand - it all adds up to one big, scary mess.

Remind me to drive off a cliff when I turn 70. Ha ha! Just joking! Not.


I got home after church and made a cup of coffee. A while later, I began to notice a funny smell in the kitchen.

I walked in and the 1946 O'Keefe and Merritt gas stove seemed hot. None of the burners were on, not the oven, nor the griddle, not the warming oven were on. Dang, that is one complicated stove.

I vacuumed a little and went back in to get my coffee. Still smelly. Still hot.

I took the top off the stove and was greeted by a scary sight - fire where there should not be fire. The main gas line had a hole in it and a flame about 3 inches long was shooting out of the hole.

Ummmmmm....I pulled the stove out and found 3 years worth of fuzzy dog kibble and spiderwebs. I shut the gas off and called the landlord.

He can't fix it until tomorrow, so no cooking for me. Anyone want to go out for breakfast?

That was my day. It was redeemed by a dog walk on the beach and Vietnamese vegetarian food at the tiki bar with my friends for dinner. How was yours?


Gwen said...

Wow. Except for a series of tantrums from a five year old, my day was ridiculously banal. Especially compared to yours.

And I'm happy about that.

mar said...

i can barely deal with my own health.
also, i've been clicking on your link on every computer i have access to (3 so far; it'll be 4 by lunchtime)

meno said...

Oh the foolish pride of the old, the wanting to "soldier on and never complain."

Damn they make it hard to take care of them.

Unknown said...

I clicked for that man's tech makeover and I am praying for your Dad right now. Blessings!

nonlineargirl said...

My grandmother fell and broke her hip on a friday evening (sabbath) and didn't want to use the phone so she waited on the floor of her apt until her son arrived for his weekly sunday visit.

My stubborn father was so horried by his mother's response to health care as she got older and infirm that he has made promises not to torture us this way.

Suzanne said...

Oh my. I am glad that you got your dad what he needs and that your house did not explode.

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